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Outreach services go the distance

SeniorsNL is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to promoting the independence and well-being of older adults in Newfoundland and Labrador.

We do this by providing accurate, up-to-date information and connections to resources, programs and services.

Information is a powerful tool. It can help solve problems, inform decisions and help people adjust to change. Information also reassures you that you are not alone — that someone somewhere has experienced the same thing you are going through.

The reality is that getting information to seniors across this province can be a challenge.

For starters, people may not be aware of SeniorsNL and the assistance we offer. And many seniors are not comfortable with computers or do not have access to them. This is particularly true for those living in rural and more remote communities.

And there are people who may not be comfortable talking with a stranger over the phone about something personal. However, all seniors in Newfoundland and Labrador have a right to equal access to our services, regardless of where they live or how they connect.

For these reasons, SeniorsNL’s Outreach Services have been designed to support as many seniors as possible who live in rural and remote communities. We aim to help improve quality of life for seniors across the province by talking about issues that affect them and those who care for them, including the programs and services they might need.

As SeniorsNL’s outreach co-ordinator, Mary Ennis is responsible for sharing information with a network of organizations, individuals and partners across the province, who then share the information with their networks.

She also develops and delivers presentations and workshops on seniors’ issues for a variety of audiences, the majority of which are seniors and those who support them.

And there are times when she calls upon some of our volunteers, who are also seniors, to give presentations as well. This is one of the reasons why partnerships are so important.

SeniorsNL is proud to partner with a number of organizations, agencies and government departments to reach as many seniors as possible. Partnerships are formed to bring individuals or organizations together to work toward a common goal. Responsibilities are shared and everyone works together.

Our valuable partners include the NL 50+ Federation, Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries, Office of the Seniors’ Advocate, RCMP, RNC, Office of the Citizens’ Representative, Public Legal Information Association of NL, Service Canada, School of Nursing, School of Social Work, regional health offices, government departments, Credit Counselling Services of Newfoundland and Labrador and many more.

Local 50+ Clubs, in particular, are very valuable in helping SeniorsNL organize information sessions for club members and the general population. Through them, we have been able to share information with thousands of seniors and those who support them.

Some of the presentations and workshops delivered through the SeniorsNL outreach co-ordinator are Seniors and Housing Transitions, Healthy Aging, Seniors’ Safety, Elder Abuse, Seniors and Mental Health, the Loneliness Discussion, Ageism, Falls Prevention, Frauds and Scams, Caring for the Caregiver and Seniors and Sexual Health.

As well, SeniorsNL’s outreach co-ordinator often calls on partners to present on topics within their areas of expertise, such as wills, enduring/power of attorney, advance health-care directives, housing programs and services, Regional Wellness Coalitions, SaferMedsNL and seniors and debt management.

We also invite ideas for new topics that may be more relevant to a particular region or community.

SeniorsNL is dedicated to investing time and energy into addressing issues of abuse through the Newfoundland and Labrador Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NLNPEA), an integral part of our organization.

The NLNPEA is a network of individuals, community and government partners working together to help prevent elder abuse in our province. Ennis is also the provincial co-ordinator for the NLNPEA. You will hear more about NLNPEA and our activities in future editions of Senior Living.

If you are interested in having a presentation, public meeting or series of presentations arranged, contact SeniorsNL at 709-737-2333 or toll-free at 1-800-563-5599.

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